Be Careful Who You Take Advice From
27th January 2010
EuroDebt Warns those on IVA's to be wary of unsolicited contact
Debt experts have warned that a rogue firm is contacting people who have taken out an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) to suggest that they can stop making payments. Leading debt solutions expert, EuroDebt, is warning that this misleading activity could result in serious consequences for unsuspecting consumers.
"It has been reported in the press that a company that goes by the name of the IVA Review Board (IRB) and also calls itself the Department for Personal Insolvency Review and Assessment – has received repeated warnings from the OFT about its conduct", confirmed Kevin Still, Director, EuroDebt. "But if debtors act on the advice of the IRB, it could result in them having their IVAs terminated.
"It is good news that the OFT is trying to take action – but it’s crucial those who currently have IVAs only act on instructions from their IVA provider and no one else."
Melanie Giles, insolvency expert and director at JonesGiles, blames the rise in unscrupulous companies such as IRB on the Insolvency Service which put records of people in IVAs online.
"Whilst the Insolvency Service insists that the Individual Insolvency Register remains accessible to the general public on line - thus disclosing personal data such as names, addresses and dates of birth of persons who have chosen to repay their debts via an Individual Voluntary Arrangement - companies like this will continue to bombard people in perfectly workable insolvency solutions with promises of the grass being greener on the bankruptcy side."
"This is generally accompanied by a bill of around £1,000 for assistance in completing a relatively simple set of forms which are no more complex than applying for job seekers allowance (JSA) or housing benefit.
"Whilst most people in IVAs have not obtained them via mis-selling – as if often claimed by the so called ‘bankruptcy assist’ industry – unfortunately some are easily led away from the safety of a sound financial solution without realising that the grass is rarely greener on the other side!” concluded Melanie Giles.
"I fully commend the steps being taken by the Office of Fair Trading to stamp out these practices."